Google never seems to be sure about what it wants from Hangouts. With the app hitting a new milestone today with v7.0, the list of new features only adds to the confusion. How so? Read on.
Google finally decided to grant people the thing that they have been clamoring for, for a while now. Quick reply finally makes it to Hangouts, almost a year after it showed up on Google’s Messenger. As expected, this lets you reply to a message from the notification without leaving the app you’re currently in. And the implementation is one of the better ones I’ve seen, looking really slick though it doesn’t really seem to adhere to material design guidelines though how would I know better than the folks who made the guidelines?
Another feature that is present on many other messaging apps made it here too as you can finally create a shortcut to the home screen for your favourite conversations. Other changes seem to be focused on completing the app’s transition to being a fully material designed one. The “share to Hangouts” menu received a minor makeover which lets go of the Holo elements in it. Checkboxes have been replaced with toggles.
Also, Google took care of two minor annoyances when creating a new conversation. The text is no longer dark on the dark background and the cursor is no longer the teal colour that it was. On the whole, things are the way they always should have been.
What’s the part that is confusing though? Running the app for the first time now shows an interesting popup. One that asks you to try out Google’s Messenger app for handling SMS. While SMS still does work on this version of Hangouts and the popup can be dismissed, maybe it is a harbinger of what is to come.
While you could wait for the update to rollout and reach your device, isn’t it easier to just grab the apk and install it right now?